Independent Christian Voice


We're not killing them fast enough; GOP trying to fix that

Reuters has an article about a Republican effort to speed up executions in this country, although I haven't seen very much play about this issue in major media outlets.
Republicans in the US Congress said yesterday they were moving ahead with legislation that would speed up executions in the United States by limiting the ability of those sentenced to death to appeal to federal courts. [...] The bill would restrict the ability of defendants facing the death sentence to have their cases reviewed by federal courts in what are known as habeas corpus appeals. [Arizona Republican Senator Jon] Kyl said such appeals were often tied up in the courts for 10 years or more, sometimes for 15 years or more. Opponents, including the the American Bar Association and other legal groups, say the law would strip the ability of federal courts to review most claims in capital cases and would result in innocent people being put to death.
The article also reports this interesting fact:
The number of people sentenced to death and put to death in the United States has been falling in recent years. Last year, 59 prisoners were executed, six fewer than in 2003, according to the Justice Department, which also reported this week that 125 people, including five women, were sentenced to death, the smallest number since 1973.
One commentator (on Court TV's Catherine Crier Live, I think), in talking about the above trend, believes it suggests that jurors are finding it increasingly difficult to hand down a death sentence (with its "point of no return") given so many recent cases of DNA tests exonerating wrongly convicted defendants, instead opting for "life without parole," which allows for the correcting the error of a wrongful conviction if necessary. It seems a reasonable inference. And now the Republicans, ignoring this trend as well as the fact that there's not recently been any great outcry demanding such legislation, are pushing this "critical" agenda to speed up the process, even though history has shown us that real justice often takes time. "Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both" -- Proverbs 17:15 P.S. "Alan Shore" (James Spader) on ABC's Boston Legal had a great oration concerning Texas' version of "justice." (Watch segment clip)


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